Duhaime profited from illegal fundraising practices, QS says

Éric Duhaime took advantage of “illegal financing” practices carried out by the company Ressources Utica by obtaining a free survey in advance, which was favorable to him, argues Québec solidaire (QS). The opposition party sent a complaint to the Chief Electoral Officer of Quebec (DGEQ).

The coordinator of Québec solidaire Nadine Beaudoin accuses the Conservative Party of Québec (PCQ) of having violated two articles of the Election Act concerning the financing of political parties.

The complaint relates to a poll conducted by the firm Mainstreet Research, the results of which were released on Monday. The document, commissioned by the gas and oil company Utica Resources, grants 24% of the voting intentions to the Conservative Party, in second place behind the Coalition avenir Québec.

Québec solidaire criticizes Éric Duhaime’s team for having received the survey even before its publication. “While the press release was published at 11:00 a.m., Éric Duhaime […] posted a photo of the poll results on his Facebook page as early as 7:19 a.m.,” the complaint reads. In doing so, the company would have “rendered services and supplies goods free of charge” to the PCQ.

The Elections Act prevents anyone other than an elector from contributing to a party. Services rendered, even free of charge, to a political entity represent a form of financing. And in this case, it’s illegal, QS suggests.

“What makes me most uncomfortable is that a private company, oil moreover, provides a tangible and redeemable good to a political party, argued Thursday the spokesperson for QS in terms of ethics, Vincent Marissal. I think, it can’t get any grosser than that. If I had wanted to do a cartoon with metaphors, I don’t think I would have even gone that far. »

“We have rules in Quebec, everyone must operate with the same rules,” he added.

Utica Resources is one of the companies that have an eye on Quebec’s natural resources. Last fall, it confirmed its intentions to revive the oil industry in Gaspésie by holding drilling operations. It is also strongly opposed to the Caquiste bill which aims to prohibit any activity of exploration or exploitation of hydrocarbons in Quebec territory. The PCQ is the only party represented in the National Assembly to support Utica in its rejection of the legislation.

Éric Duhaime will participate in a press conference early Thursday afternoon, in Chaudière-Appalaches.

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